Northern Trust X-ray Image Review Reveals 66 Discrepancies

The Trust wrote to 9,091 patients or their parents / guardians at the end of June 2021

The Trust wrote to 9,091 patients or their parents / guardians at the end of June 2021 to inform them of the review regarding the images, which were taken at the Antrim Area Hospital, Causeway Hospital, in Whiteabbey Hospital, Mid Ulster Hospital and Ballymena Health and Care Center.

Dr Seamus O’Reilly, Medical Director of the Northern Trust and also Chair of the Retrospective Review Steering Group, said: “I can confirm that we have completed reviewing all images and identified a total. of six images. with level 1 deviations (immediate and significant clinical impact).

“In addition, we identified 60 other images with level 2 deviations (probable clinical impact).

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“Most of the images classified as having level 1 and level 2 deviations are CT scans, but some are MRI scans, chest x-rays, and other x-rays.”

Dr O’Reilly said: “A clinical assessment group of senior clinicians met weekly throughout the exam to carefully review images of patients with level 1 and level 2 deviations. have been found. They also examined a number of images considered to be level 3 deviations (clinical impact unlikely). This detailed clinical assessment, which resulted in the recall of 69 patients, was to determine whether clinical damage had occurred as a result of the discrepancies found in the retrospective examination.

“I can confirm that after careful consideration, the clinical evaluation group determined that 17 patients should now be included in a level 3 serious adverse event (SAD) review.

“We are currently in the process of appointing an independent group of SAIs in accordance with regional guidelines and have agreed on a draft terms of reference that will review the methodology of the retrospective review processes, provide individual case reports for each patient identified as a ISC, explaining what happened, why it happened and how it may have impacted the patient / parent and whether the patient’s outcome would have been different if the deviation had not occurred. This will involve the engagement of clinical experts in the specialties relevant to each individual case.

“The ISC review will also identify any relevant learning within the HSC and the expert group should make recommendations on how radiology reporting processes can be strengthened to minimize the possibility of similar adverse events. occur in the future. “

The Trust will now contact affected patients and families to inform them of the pending SAI review and to solicit their participation throughout the process.

Each year in the Trust, radiologists report around 300,000 images.

Following concerns raised by the General Medical Council, the Trust reviewed a small sample of 30 CT scans that had been reported by the locum radiologist in question. A decision was then made to undertake a full review of all radiology reports issued by the LMP consultant during their time with the Trust.

The review was carried out by a qualified and experienced external supplier who is already engaged by HSC to perform this type of work and by consultant radiologists in the Trust, with the assistance of consultant radiologists in other Trusts.

A free hotline 0800 023 4377 has been set up and operates from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday and there is also a dedicated email address: [email protected]

The Trust also provides psychological support services throughout the examination for any patients who may be particularly anxious.

Further details, including Frequently Asked Questions and Answers, can be viewed from the Northern Trust website home page www.northerntrust.hscni.net.

Breast departments were not affected and are not part of the review.

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